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Harmonious Generosity: Celebrating Pat Flaherty’s Gift to Boise State’s Music Program

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The School of the Arts at Boise State University extends its heartfelt appreciation to distinguished percussionist and esteemed alumnus Pat Flaherty for his recent generous gift to the music program. Flaherty’s contribution will fund percussion fellowships through a deferred donation, offering aspiring percussionists unparalleled opportunities for advanced study, mentorship, and professional development. Additional funding will support Boise Jazz Society guest artists, recognizing the profound impact of guest artists in enriching musical experiences on and off campus.

Born and raised in Boise, Flaherty discovered his love for drums in sixth grade. His dedication and talent propelled him to become the section leader of the percussion section at Bishop Kelly High School. An early recommendation from his drum teacher led Flaherty to join the National Guard band while still in high school, providing him with a solid foundation in music and performing arts.

After graduating, Flaherty pursued Music Education, ’77, and Idaho State Teaching Certification programs at Boise State under the guidance of renowned percussionist Dr. John Baldwin. Flaherty’s commitment to his craft was evident in his 6 a.m. timpani practice in the Hemingway Center each morning. Continuing his academic journey, Flaherty spent the summer of 1977 teaching drum lines throughout the South East before attending East Carolina University as a graduate teaching fellow, earning a Master’s Degree in Music Performance. 

Returning to his hometown of Boise in 1980, Flaherty established a percussion studio, joined Boise Philharmonic and Opera Idaho, directed the Percussion Department at the College of Idaho, taught drum set at Boise State University, and shared his expertise with students in schools across the Treasure Valley. Fueled by Starbucks coffee, Flaherty’s dedication allowed him to instruct an average of 75 students weekly, providing the best available instruction in Idaho. Even after retiring in 2021, many of his students maintain contact, a testament to his lasting impression on their musical journeys.

Once again, Boise State University’s School of the Arts expresses its sincere gratitude to Flaherty for his unwavering dedication to music education and the transformative impact of his gift. Flaherty’s generous contribution will continue to shape the future of music at Boise State, inspiring countless students and enriching the musical landscape for years.